Love her or hate her, Awkarin — real name Karin Novilda — is undoubtedly one of the biggest Instagram stars in Indonesia at the moment. In an interview from two years ago, she claimed she received IDR30 million (US$2,000) in just two days from product endorsements on the social media site and now, with her followers reaching 3.5 million, her Instagram earnings could be a whole lot more.
With that kind of money, Awkarin should be able to afford being picky when it comes to the products she endorses, but she has come under fire for what appears to be a very irresponsible product promotion.
In one of her recent Instagram Stories, Awkarin posted her endorsement of a “breast enlarger and vagina tightener” which comes in the form of two small tubes of liquid and two syringes, apparently meant for the user to inject it into themselves. She claimed, in the post, that the product is “100% safe”.
The post is no longer on her Instagram Stories as of this afternoon (we had to painstakingly scroll through dozens of Stories she posted in the past 24 hours alone — talk about extreme dedication to her craft), but screenshots of her endorsement live on and are attracting heavy criticism online.
Selebgram satu ini bener bener yaaa . Masa endorse gini amaat !!!!! Gak jualan obat plus jarum suntiknya segala kaliiiik. Bantu report dong gaes . Ini bahaya lho pic.twitter.com/rpz4BsVwgT
— 🐣 (@sucasn) August 7, 2018
This selebgram (an Indonesian portmanteau for ‘Instagram’ and ‘celebrity’ — ugh) has gone too far. How could she endorse something like this!!!! Don’t sell drugs along with the needle. Help me report this guys. This could be dangerous.
Awkarin pls there are limits to being a sellout https://t.co/xIwpKQSXij
— smol bullet kin (@auliaackckck) August 8, 2018
Indonesia’s Plastic Surgery Specialist Association (Perapi) joined in the chorus of criticism, saying that the product was not only dangerous but also illegal.
“The sale of medical tools outside of medical facilities is illegal. Truth be told, the products that are being sold [online] are not legal either,” Perapi Deputy Chairwoman Dr Irena Sakura Rini told Detik today.
Irena added that there is no drug that can instantly enlarge a women’s breasts or tighten their vaginas. She suspects that the product Awkarin endorsed involves injecting liquid silicone into the breasts or the vagina for a temporary “tightening” effect. Similar products have been shown to cause grave side effects including infection and cancer.
Irena warned the public not to fall for medical products being sold online, as most of them had not have been tested or approved by the Food and Drugs Monitoring Agency (BPOM).
“Nowadays even chemotherapy drugs and drugs for cancer are being sold online. That means the regulations are loosening since illegal products are being sold. The public must be smart now, medical products sold online, especially if sold with needles, are definitely illegal,” she said.
Awkarin has not released a statement regarding her endorsement, but according to media reports, she took down her post after receiving a deluge of direct messages on Instagram containing criticisms from netizens.